Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Cancer survival

Reported health related headlines are often unhelpful

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 29 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4056
  1. Kit Byatt, consultant physician and geriatrician1
  1. 1Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford HR1 2ER, UK
  1. cbyatt{at}

I agree that we need to scrutinise healthcare performance and variations across trusts, regions, and countries.1 Reflection on personal, institutional, and national data is the only way to learn and improve. However, simplistic reporting of headline data is dispiriting at best, and alarming or downright misleading at worst.

As Gigerenzer points out, survival rates depend on …

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